THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Lexicon Genetics Incorporated announced today a functional genomics research collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) relating to a gene identified by TSRI researchers. Under the collaboration agreement, Lexicon will use its proprietary homologous recombination technology to generate knockout mice for the gene, and Lexicon and TSRI will collaborate in research to define the function of the gene and its potential role in human disease. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We are excited to be working on this project with The Scripps Research Institute, one of the most prestigious medical research institutions in the country," said Randall Riggs, Lexicons Vice President of Business Development. "Lexicon brings to the collaboration technologies for rapidly generating custom knockout mice and analyzing gene function. We will be using biological and physiological screens from our Seek-Target-Validation (S-T- V(TM)) program, in collaboration with the efforts of TSRI researchers, to determine the targeted genes function and disease relevance."

Lexicons homologous recombination program provides collaborators with the ability to obtain mice with genetic alternations directed at specific drug targets of interest identified by the collaborator. Lexicon generates mice in which the gene of interest has been knocked out or conditionally knocked out (using recombinase technologies), and mice in which a point mutation has been introduced in the gene of interest. These genetically-engineered mice enable Lexicons collaborators to determine the role of specific genes in disease through an in vivo mammalian system and to validate novel gene products as drug targets. Lexicons collaborators receive the benefit of the key patented enabling technologies for the development of custom knockout mice which are owned by or licensed to Lexicon, including positive/negative selection, Cre/lox and isogenic DNA, as well as Lexicons proprietary lambda KOS system.

Lexicons technology for the creation of custom knockout mice complements its proprietary, high-throughput gene trapping technology, used in the creation of Lexicons OmniBank(R) library of mutant mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell clones. The OmniBank library currently contains more than 60,000 ES cell clones, each of which is identified in the OmniBank database with DNA sequence from the trapped gene.

Lexicons Seek-Target-Validation (S-T-V) program is an in vivo mammalian functional genomics program to validate potential drug targets identified from the use of Lexicons proprietary databases or through the internal research programs of the companys collaborators. The Company has developed a variety of biological and physiological screens to elucidate gene function.

The Scripps Research Institute (www.scripps.edu), one of the countrys largest, private, non-profit research organizations, has always stood at the forefront of basic biomedical science, a vital segment of medical research that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. In just three decades the Institute has established a lengthy track record of major contributions to the betterment of health and the human condition. The Institute has become internationally recognized for its basic research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and synthetic vaccine development. Particularly significant is the Institutes study of the basic structure and design of biological molecules; in this arena TSRI is among a handful of the worlds leading centers. The philosophy of The Scripps Research Institute emphasizes the creation of basic knowledge in the biosciences for the application of medical and material discoveries; the pursuit of fundamental scientific advances through interdisciplinary programs and collaborations, and the education and training of researchers preparing to meet the scientific challenges of the next century.

Lexicon Genetics Incorporated (www.lexicon-genetics.com) is a pioneer in the design, development and application of high-throughput gene trapping and mutagenesis technologies for gene discovery and functional genomics. Lexicon employs its proprietary Human Gene Trap(TM) database, OmniBank(R) library of gene-trapped mouse clones and its web-based bioinformatics software in an integrated technology platform for drug discovery and drug target validation. Lexicon has an agreement with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for access to the Human Gene Trap and OmniBank databases. Lexicon also has commercial OmniBank alliances with ZymoGenetics/Novo Nordisk and DuPont Pharmaceuticals. Lexicon also provides access to a substantial portion of OmniBank through its www.Lexgen.com genomics Internet exchange to subscribers at leading research institutions throughout the world. Lexicon Genetics Incorporated, founded in 1995, is a privately-held company based in The Woodlands, Texas, U.S.A.